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|01-13-2006, 12:07 AM||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2005
Geely China news
Geely gears up for future
Privately owned car manufacturer Geely on the Chinese mainland and Guorun Holdings Ltd, its partner in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, have clinched two deals to form a new joint venture and to add extra investment to their existing joint venture.
Guorun's wholly-owned subsidiary, Value Century, and Shanghai Maple Automobile -- one of Geely's three manufacturing bases, will set up an auto joint venture in China's major economic powerhouse of Shanghai, according to a statement made to China Daily from the two parent companies.
The total investment in the joint venture, named Maple Guorun Automobile, will be 525 million yuan (US$63.25 million), the statement said.
Value Century and Shanghai Maple control 46.8 and 53.2 per cent stakes of the joint venture respectively.
The joint venture will produce Geely's own-brand Gale Wind and M203 economy cars.
Geely, whose headquarters is located in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang Province, plans to enlarge the joint venture's annual production capacity to 300,000 units by 2010 from its current level of 40,000 units.
Guorun is a Hong Kong-listed investment firm.
Centurion Industries, another wholly-owned affiliate of Guorun, has also agreed with Geely to increase the investment in their existing joint venture in Ningbo, a port city in Zhejiang Province, to 1.127 billion yuan (US$135.78 million) from 200 million yuan (US$24 million), according to the statement.
The equity structure of the joint venture, Zhejiang Geely Guorun, will remain unchanged with Geely holding 53.2 per cent and Centurion Industries retaining 46.8 per cent.
Zhejiang Geely Guorun was set up in May this year.
The new investment will be used to produce Geely's self-developed Beauty Leopard, the first Chinese-made sports car, and engines and gearboxes.
The Beauty Leopard will be launched on the market in December this year.
The joint venture is making Geely's Merrie and Ulion economy cars.
In addition, the Ningbo-based joint venture has signed a memorandum of understanding with Primustech Ventures -- another investment firm in Hong Kong -- to co-operate in automobile sales and after-sales services, according to the statement.
Primustech has also entered into a memorandum of understanding with Ningbo Mingtai Automobile Sales and Rental Co Ltd, which is controlled by Geely, to build a network of full service in automobile sales, repair, maintenance, renting and financing.
The joint venture will provide products to the expected network, the statement said.
Geely, owned by Li Shufu, one of the richest men in China, is one of a small number of Chinese carmakers mainly depending on developing its own models.
The vast majority of China's major automakers are assembling foreign models of their joint venture partners -- such as Germany's Volkswagen, US General Motors, French Citroen, and the Japanese firms Toyota and Honda.
Geely has made a five-year plan (2003-07) to sell a total of 1 million cars.
The company also plans to introduce 14 new self-developed models during the period and to develop 1.0, 1.3, 1.5, 1.6 and 1.8-litre engines.
Geely has clinched deals with a host of companies from Germany, Italy and South Korea to co-operate in car, engine and spare parts design and production.
Besides the two joint ventures in Shanghai and Ningbo, Geely has another manufacturing base in Taizhou, Zhejiang Province, which is producing the Haoqing compact car.
|03-30-2006, 07:06 PM||#10|
Join Date: Dec 2005
Geely and SMA go extra mile for women
The Geely Haixuan was created by a team of women and includes a brake pedal made to handle a stiletto heel.
Anita Lienert / Special to The Detroit News
Chinese automakers aren't wasting any time in designing cars that appeal to women.
Geely Automobile earlier this month unveiled the Haixuan, billed as China's "first car to tempt female buyers." The Haixuan was created by an all-female team and has a special brake pedal with a cutout to accommodate a stiletto heel.
It all sounds a little gimmicky, but the smartest global automakers are going to great lengths to win over the women's market.
In Detroit, Mary Sipes, General Motors' vehicle line director for full-size SUVs, had an unusual assignment for one of her male engineers as the 2007 Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon were being developed.
The engineer was told to go to Payless Shoes and buy a pair of size 12 high heels. He did just that, picking out a cream-colored pair.
It was all for a good cause: the "Mr. Mom" competition in the automaker's internal "Olympics" held at the GM Proving Grounds in Milford.
The all-male contestants in that particular event had to wear a skirt, heels, and fake fingernails. They were given a baby stroller and a baby doll. Before them stood a row of Escalades, Tahoes and Yukons. They had to wheel the baby stroller up to the vehicle, unlock it, load the baby in a car seat without "hurting" it and jump into the driver's seat without ripping the skirt or a nail.
All of these "mommy exercises" have resulted in some practical improvements.
Sipes says one step forward is a rear-seat DVD entertainment system that can be loaded from the instrument panel. Some SUVs, like the 2007 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, have awkward systems in such odd locations as the bottom of the right passenger's seat in the second row.
"Moms want to have control over that, especially if the kids are in child seats," she said. "With earlier systems, moms had to reach back to get the movie going."
Escalade buyers who opt for rear-seat entertainment can now load DVDs from a slot on the dashboard -- a feature I suspect will be copied by the Chinese before too long.